CAM/PwC name Volkswagen Group most innovative global automotive company, Mercedes-Benz most innovative brand
|Top spot went to Volkswagen Group, followed by Daimler, BMW, GM and Toyota. Source: CAM. Click to enlarge.|
The Germany-based Center of Automotive Management (CAM), in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) AG WPG, named the Volkswagen Group the world’s most innovative automotive company in its 2014 AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Awards; this marks the fourth consecutive time Volkswagen Group has picked up the top award. The Volkswagen Group also received awards in the “Conventional drives”, “Alternative drives” and “Networked vehicle” categories. Daimler followed in second place, then BMW Group, GM and Toyota.
CAM also selected Mercedes-Benz as the most innovative brand; BMW came in second, followed by Volkswagen, Audi and Ford.
In their official rationale for selecting Volkswagen for the most innovative company award, CAM and PwC stated: “The number of innovations at the company further increased to nearly 230 this year. Volkswagen impressed us with an enormous range of innovations in all technological fields and with several highly innovative brands in the Group.”
Conventional drives. The CAM/PwC study highlighted such optimization measures as downsizing in combination with turbocharging and cylinder deactivation. 50% of powertrain innovations also enabled early fulfillment of the EU6 emissions standard.
Alternative drives. Along with hybrid models from Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen, the Group also offers a number of natural gas powered models. The study also noted that the Group had launched extremely energy-efficient all-electric cars during the evaluation period in the form of the e-up! and the e-Golf. The study identified the most powerful innovation as the Porsche Panamera S E Hybrid—the first plug-in hybrid in the premium class.
Networked vehicles. The CAM study emphasized that the trend towards networking is driven by the broader range of electric car products.
Volkswagen has introduced a very large number of innovations with 62 innovations this year, which is twice as many as in the prior year. An example is that electric cars can now be monitored and programmed remotely. Live traffic services also continue to make their way into the various vehicle classes.
|Mercedes-Benz took the top brand award, followed by BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Ford. Source: CAM. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz. In addition to winning the award for the most innovative automobile brand, Daimler was picked as the “Most innovative group” in the “Vehicle concepts” and “Safety systems” categories.
The innovations for which Mercedes-Benz received the award include the “suspension with eyes” – MAGIC BODY CONTROL; DISTRONIC PLUS Traffic Jam Vehicle Follow Assist; and the Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID model.
Exemplary aerodynamics and numerous safety innovations also contributed to the win in the “Vehicle concepts” and “Safety systems” categories. The S- and GLA-Class offer leading aerodynamic values in their respective classes; the CLA-Class has set a world record for series production automobiles as the BlueEFFICIENCY Edition with a drag coefficient of Cd= 0.22 and a drag area of 0.49 m2.
The award-winning new safety features include BAS PLUS Brake Assist featuring a function to recognize crossing traffic; Night View Assist Plus, which is able to recognize both people and animals; and PRE-SAFE PLUS. This system sees Daimler broadening the established occupant protection measures to include dangerous situations resulting from following traffic.
AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Awards 2014. The presentation ceremony for the AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Awards 2014 took place as part of a gala on 8 May 2014 in Frankfurt/Main.
The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch-Gladbach is an independent institute for empirical research on automotive and mobility issues, and it conducts the extensive study together with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) AG WPG. This year’s analysis covered 18 global automotive companies and a total of 53 brands.
The 18 companies were: BMW Group; Daimler AG; Fiat Group; Ford Motor Co.; Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.; Geely International Corp.; General Motors Corp.; Honda Motor Co.; Hyundai Motor Co.; Mazda Motor Corp.; Mitsubishi Motors Corp.; Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.; Renault Group; PSA Peugeot Citroën; Suzuki Motor Corp.; Tata Motors Ltd.; Toyota Motor Corp.; and Volkswagen AG.
Innovations are defined as new developments which offer tangible additional customer benefits. The innovations must be already available or they must at least have been presented in developed prototypes.
The CAM operates as an independent institute for empirical automobile and mobility research and for strategic consulting. The director of the CAM is Prof. Dr. Stefan Bratzel, who founded the institute in April 2004.